Giant Steps Harry's Monster Single Vineyard Cabernet Merlot Cabernet Franc, Yarra Valley
Each variety was hand-picked and vinified separately. All varieties were destemmed and partially crushed before being tipped into small open fermenters for a natural fermentation. The ferments were given lots of air via gravity drain and returns during the fermentation period. Total maceration time was 14 days. The wine was pressed off to French oak barriques for malolactic fermentation and maturation for 14 months.
Bright, deep crimson; a powerful, intense yet perfectly balanced array of black, blue and red berry fruits; the tannins are woven through the dominant fruit display, new oak used with discretion. A wholly satisfying medium to full-bodied wine with an assured future. 96 points, James Halliday, winecompanion.com.au
A Cabernet Sauvignon dominant Bordeaux blend sporting a very deep opaque purple colour, the 2013 Harry's Monster offers notes of crushed black plums, blackcurrants and blackberries with hints of vanilla, toast, cedar, pencil lead and cloves. Medium-bodied, the palate is densely packed with black fruit and spice box flavours with firm, grainy tannins and just enough acid to lift the long, somewhat woody finish. It really needs time to show its true colours but this is a very promising young wine. 91+ points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, MW (erobertparker.com).
Yarra ValleyThe Yarra Valley was first planted by the Ryrie brothers who explored a way through the Snowy Mountains to the Yarra Valley, planting grapes in 1838 just three years after the foundation of Melbourne. A wine industry (developed by Swiss Settlers particularly Hubert de Castella and Baron Guillaume de Pury in the 1850s) thrived during the gold rush era and heyday of the 19th century. However, the end of the gold rush brought the wine industry into decline and it was not until the 1970’s that the modern wine industry started up again. The region is probably Australia’s best-known cool-climate area, yet it is really a patchwork of meso-climates. This varied topography creates an incredible set of variables. Vineyards are planted on elevations of 50 to 400m on varying aspects and management programmes. The more exposed sites are subject to severe spring frosts and winds. Overall, the area experiences a relatively high rainfall pattern and is known for its temperature extremes during ripening. Site selection is crucial, with the best vineyards often located where the original vines were once planted, generally on sandy clay loams and gravels. The Yarra Valley is well known for high quality Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Blends with Shiraz increasingly garnering attention. Sparkling wine production is also extremely important, with many of Australia’s finest examples produced in the region.